'Sea grab' sparks tensions in South China Sea | Stars and Stripes
By Wyatt Olson
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Many people look at China and see a unified behemoth tightly controlled by the communist central leadership, so when a diplomatic fray develops, like a rash of recent confrontations in the South China Sea, the assumption is that it’s all part of a grand plan by Beijing.
But some analysts see the bureaucracy as more akin to a giant octopus, with the teeming tentacles of ministries and provinces setting their own agendas as they compete for clout and profits — as long as they maintain loyalty to the Communist Party. The philosophy, particularly among southern provinces, is the ancient adage, “Heaven is high and the emperor far away.”
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Photo: Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr